South African lobby exposes crooked deals

By Crystal van Wyk

Posted on June 22, 2012 09:13

An investigation by the newly established, Corruption Watch has exposed a multi million rand tender irregularity in South Africa’s Transport department.

An investigation by the newly established, Corruption Watch has exposed a multi million rand tender irregularity in South Africa’s Transport department.

The non- profit organisation was formed in January this year to investigate fraud and corruption in the country.

The body relies on members of the public to provide information of corrupt activities.

The latest Corruption Watch investigation found irregularities in the awarding of a tender exceeding R13-million by the Department of Transport to a relatively new and inexperienced company.

The lobby group collected evidence that showed the Department of Transport paid “R10-million more for services it could have received for less and decided” on a company that had not fulfilled all the requirements of the tender process.

The body said this was one of three intensive investigations of serious acts of corruption that they had completed over the last four months.

The two other investigations are also related to irregular public tenders involving private businesses and amounting to misuse of millions of rands.

According to the body’s executive director, David Lewis, “Our main goal is to see the cases we take to the Public Protector lead to further investigation facilitated by its statutory powers and, ultimately, referral for criminal prosecution.”

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Lewis said they would be closely monitoring the cases that they “hand over to the Public Protector and would assist her office with further evidence and information gathered from the public.”

According to the Corruption Watch’ media statement, the successful bidding company won the transport tender to host a national transport conference in Cape Town at a cost of over 13 million rand.

One of the losing bidders also submitted a bid price less than 4 million rand, approximately one-quarter of the winning bid.

The company lodged a complaint with the Public Protector and Corruption Watch.

Lewis said the case highlighted “the importance of the public playing an active role in reporting corruption.

“It is the only way that Corruption Watch can succeed.

“The more people tell us what is happening in their communities and give us as much detail as possible, the better we are positioned to expose corruption and bring the perpetrators to book”.

He said that members of the public reported this case and each of the other serious acts of corruption that Corruption Watch is investigating.

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